Information on appeal procedures

Hereby we inform that the National Broadcasting Council has adopted a resolution on imposing a fine on TVN SA, the broadcaster of the TVN 24 programme service, basing on a thorough and long-term analysis of six television channels.
In many of the monitored programmes, a sharp criticism against the ruling coalition was visible, but this was not the subject of our decision, which critics accuse us of.

It was no partiality what has decided on imposing a penalty. It should be emphasized that among all the analyzed channels only on TVN 24 the National Broadcasting Council has identified the violation of law, including art. 18 para 1 and 3 of the Broadcasting Act[1].

The National Broadcasting Council rarely punishes broadcasters - protecting freedom of speech, but freedom means also responsibility.

TVN has the right to sympathize with the opposition, however, the reports could have fueled aggression leading to tragic events that had already taken place in the recent past. In a tense situation when it comes to blows, and even as a last resort to bloodshed, words have the weight of stones and can cause an avalanche.

The penalty was determined basing on art. 53 para 1 of the Broadcasting Act[2] and constitutes only 1 per mil of the broadcaster's annual revenue achieved in 2016 and only 1 per cent of the maximum penalty possible to be imposed by the National Broadcasting Council.

Such a low penalty can in no way affect the financial situation of the broadcaster, but it should be a clear signal that he should act with a sense of responsibility for the word. The broadcasters should rather reduce the temperature of the dispute in society than fuel it, especially in difficult for this society times of confrontation, brought inevitably by democracy.

[1]Art. 18, para 1: “Programmes or other broadcasts may not promote actions contrary to law and Poland’s raison d’Etat or propagate attitudes and beliefs contrary to the moral values and social interest. In particular, they may not include contents inciting to hatred or discriminating on grounds of race, disability, sex, religion or nationality”.
Art. 18, para 3: “Programmes or other broadcasts may not encourage conduct prejudicial to health, safety or the natural environment.”
[2]Art 53, para 1:   “If a broadcaster fails to comply with the obligations laid down in Article 14a paragraphs 1 and 2, Article 15 paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, Article 15a paragraph 1, Article 16 paragraphs 1-6, Article 16a, Article 16b paragraphs 1-3, Article 16c, Article 17 paragraphs 1-7, Article 17a paragraphs 1-7, Article 18 paragraphs 1-5b, Article 18a paragraph 1, Article 20 paragraph 1, Article 20b paragraphs 1 and 6, Article 20c paragraphs 1-5, Article 43 paragraph 2, Article 43a paragraph 1 or under the provisions issued pursuant to Article 14a paragraph 3, Article 15 paragraph 4, Article 15a paragraphs 2 and 3, Article 16 paragraph 7, Article 16b paragraph 3b, Article 17 paragraph 8, Article 17a paragraph 9, Article 18 paragraph 6 and Article 18a paragraph 2 or fails to comply with the notice referred to in Article 43a paragraph 2, the Chairman of the National Council shall issue a decision imposing a fine  upon such a broadcaster in the amount of up to 50% of the annual fee for the right to use the frequency allocated for providing the programme service, while broadcasters who fail to pay for the right to use the frequency shall be liable to a fine of up to 10% of the revenues generated by the broadcaster in the preceding tax year with due consideration for the degree of harmfulness of such breach, the former operations of the broadcaster and its financial capacity”.


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The National Broadcasting Council's Office

Skwer kard. S. Wyszyńskiego 9, 01-015 Warsaw, Poland
tel: ( 48 22) 597 3000, fax (48 22) 597 3180

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